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Diet for Pancreatitis Recovery

By John Zaremba ; Updated July 27, 2017

Pancreatitis inflames and irritates the pancreas, which produces enzymes that are essential to your body's digestive process. the condition produces abdominal pain, vomiting, and other symptoms. Mild cases are easily treatable, but more severe instances can produce life-threatening complications. Recovering from pancreatitis often includes changes in lifestyle and a diet that trims fat and emphasizes fruits and vegetables.

Urgent Care Diet

Allow your pancreas to rest and recover. If your doctor admits you to the hospital for pancreatitis, you may be ordered to stop eating for a few days. According to the Mayo Clinic, your doctor may gradually work liquids and bland foods back into your diet, then help you with the transition to a normal but carefully planned diet.

Low-Fat Diet

Cut the fat. The pancreas becomes inflamed when its digestive enzymes are activated before they're secreted. Several conditions and behavior cause this, and keeping a high-fat, high-triglyceride diet is among them. According to the National Institutes of Health, recovery from pancreatitis (and prevention of future flare-ups) includes a low-fat diet made of small, frequent and nutritious meals.

Abstinence From Drinking

Quit drinking alcohol. According to the Mayo Clinic, chronic alcohol use--several daily drinks over many years--can trigger pancreatitis. So can smoking cigarettes, a behavior sometimes induced by drinking. To avoid alcohol's harmful effects, people with even mild pancreatitis may need to quit drinking completely. According to the Mayo Clinic, patients who have developed alcohol dependence may require treatment from alcoholism to supplement recovery from pancreatitis.

Foods to Eat

Focus on protein and iron. The Mayo Clinic makes broad dietary recommendations--namely, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

With fatty meats cut out of your diet, your body will require a new source of protein to retain strength and engage in healthy activities such as exercise. Low-fat sources of protein include chicken, fish, and tofu.

Spinach contains rich amounts of iron as well as vitamin B--both crucial nutrients for pancreatitis recovery, according to Nutra Legacy. Nutra Legacy also recommends antioxidant-rich foods such as blueberries, red grapes, and tomatoes.

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